As good as the 2020 season was for Herbert, it was unfortunate to see for Taylor. He played decently well in the Chargers’ Week 1 win over Cincinnati, but it was clear he was playing hurt. Like I said on the first slide, we already know what happened when he tried to play in Week 2.
It was clear after the Tampa Bay game for me that there was no chance for Taylor to get his job back. The door creaked slightly ajar after Herbert’s poor performance vs. Carolina, but the best quarterback performance of the season against the eventual Super Bowl Champions’ defense sealed the deal for #10.
It’s hard to really put a grade on Taylor’s performance after just one game. If we simulated it out, I think the general trend of good enough Taylor performances would’ve continued.
The problem though is that this Chargers team couldn’t have relied on a game manager to get them through games this year. It’s very arguable that they would’ve been able to at full strength, but they simply weren’t healthy for most of the season.
Taylor is the perfect quarterback for the grind it out games we saw in Buffalo. Should the defense and offensive line play well, he makes an OK amount of plays and doesn’t really turn the ball over.
That’s alright if every game the Chargers played was 16-13, but they just weren’t capable of doing that with the number of defensive injuries and coaching deficiencies. From Week 4 to Week 13, the Chargers allowed 27+ points in every game. They finished the season allowed 24 PPG.
While I feel bad for an injury hurting Taylor’s starting opportunity yet again, this season would not have been favorable to him with the team they ended up having. This team needed a whole lot more than a game manager just to get to 7-9. That’s how bad it was.
I do give credit to Taylor for taking the backup role seriously once he lost the starting gig. He’s been so unlucky at several points in his career, yet continues to be a true professional. While we debate who gets credit for Herbert’s development very often, I feel like Taylor doesn’t get brought up enough when discussing Pep Hamilton, Shane Steichen, or Anthony Lynn’s influences on the rookie.
Preseason grade: B
Final 2020 grade: B-